Monday, June 10, 2013

Challenge of the Book Question Accepted!

Some of you may remember the fact that I am special. I talked about it a lot when I received the Liebster Award nomination from my friend Tanney on her blog Our Fairy Tale a week or so ago. Well, I nominated her in return because I like her and her blog. One of the questions that I posed for my nominees to answer is a genre of question that no book lover/English major/avid reader person enjoys answering. The questions that require them to pick AN book. Because you want to know a secret?

We can't. Picking just one is not an option.

I asked Tanney the following question: If you could be in any book, which would it be?

Well, Tanney answered, but not before issuing a challenge. She said, "Natashya!!! That's such a hard question! I expect you to answer it as well, either on the comments or make your own post about it! See how it feels to be put on the spot like that and go through the miles-long list of books you have read to see what book you would like to be in....(love you though)."

I'm glad that she reassured me of her love at the end of that rant. I was slightly worried. But I do accept her challenge. And I will see her challenge with some answers, and raise her some pictures. So there.

If Tashya could be in any book, which would it be? 

1. Pride and Prejudice, or First Impressions, by Jane Austen

Don't I look positively stunning in my Regency era garb? I think I look rather fetching. Much more handsome than barely tolerable or well enough or passable! Other than the fact that I love the story, there are several reasons that I wouldn't mind being in this story.

Elizabeth is the second of five sisters. I'm the second oldest, and the second of six sisters. Of course, I also have four brothers, so my count does go up a little bit, but that's alright. I still feel a connection with Lizzy. Mr. Darcy is first fascinated with Elizabeth's fine eyes, beautiful and expressive. Now, call me a proud soul, but I have always fancied myself to have rather fine eyes. Andrew likes my eyes, you can ask him. He thinks they're beautiful. And of course, there is the very strong reason that this book became even closer to my heart. The original title of Pride and Prejudice was First Impressions. Our love story is a story of first impressions and what happens when you can overcome them. For more information, please read The Story. 

2. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

I love Shakespeare a lot. I really love this one. It's all about two people who are excellent verbal sparring partners, but hate the snot out of each other. And actually, that might be a useful side effect if you had a nasty cold. But they didn't have colds. They are also nosy, and fall for a trap set for them by their friends because of it. If you haven't read or seen this one, you should. The witty banter and quick dialogue make for much laughter. 

3. Star Wars by good ole Lucas

No, this isn't actually a book. Yes, this is Andrew's pick when I asked him what we would be in. Wouldn't we make a great Han Solo and Princess Leia? I will say that we're good with sass and words. I think that Andrew is better at fixing things than Han Solo, and all of our vehicles get us where we need to go. And we do have a mini itty-bitty key chain gun that makes tiny laser gun noises when you shoot it. If I did my hair right, sewed some yellow stripes on Andrew's pants, and hired some goons to chase us, it would be like we actually were living in Star Wars.

You know what? The truth is that I have many books that I like. I could have included The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, but after the horse, I didn't think anyone could stomach another animal drawing (just keep reading- you'll see soon enough). You want to know another truth? I don't want to be in many of the books that I like. They're great books, but they definitely aren't great fun to be in. For example, we have:

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

This is one of my favorite books. In it is one of the greatest lessons on redemption and charity that I have ever read outside of the Scriptures. A man is condemned, judged, for a transgression committed to save his sister's children from starvation. That man, Valjean, is changed when a Bishop buys his soul for God. Javert is the police man who chases Valjean throughout the years, and ultimately meets his demise because he cannot understand or accept that people can change, they can improve, they can be redeemed. And that's not even me going into all of the details and examples of how beautiful this lesson really is, and why it's important for us in our lives today. Maybe I'll go into that in another post sometime. However, for now, you have to admit that the book is just about the last place you'd like to be. Think about it. The very title means the MISERABLE PEOPLE. No. I think I'll learn from here.

Ben Hur by Lew Wallace.

In the same lines of favorite book-ness due to profound truths of the story, we have Ben Hur. Really, it's a wonderful story. Please don't let that horridly frightening horse turn you off of the book. You should read it. Don't let hatred and vengeance eat you from the inside out! And if you don't like reading books just for the lessons to be learned, then don't worry. I don't either. I don't like boring books. That's why I don't like Virginia Woolf. At all. But this book is filled with adventures and Romans and princesses and heroes who need to make very critical and pivotal decisions. It's a great read. And it's also filled with death, leprosy, and sorrow, which is the reason that I wouldn't want to be in this book either.

I have a lot of other books that I am fond of as well, and I would love to tell you all about them. In fact, my friend Michele and I are reading Oliver Twist and will be holding a discussion about it. If you'd like to read it as well, then great! Reading is great for your person and your mind. 

And, out of mild curiosity, I'd like to know. Which book would you like to live in?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Well and Good

There are a lot of rather nice people in my acquaintance. It's true. People that I had no idea knew that I was ill, or even that they knew about this blog, came and asked me today how I was doing today. To all of those people, thank you for caring. You are so very sweet and kind.

But you see, what's even more important than my followers is grammar. That's right. GRAMMAR. And do you know the correct response to the query "How are you today?" Andrew did his best, and answered with confidence.

NOTE: Andrew is the most handsome man alive. He looks very handsome and good in his suit. I can't draw. Just imagine him looking handsome and very presentable, with a perfectly knotted tie and all. Or you can take my image more literally if you'd like.

Now everyone who's read more than two of my posts knows two things. 1) I love Andrew more than anything, and think that he's the smartest, handsomest, sweetest, manliest, handiest, wonderfulest stud in the world, and 2) Grammar Abuse happens to be one of my all-time biggest pet peeves! These two facts put me into a difficult predicament whenever Andrew happens to say "good" instead of "well" when it definitely should be the adverb. That's why I have to look at him in both horror and awe at the same time, which is very hard to capture on Microsoft Paint, let me tell you!

But while I was thinking about how I love Andrew no matter how much he abuses my darling adverbs, a thought came to me. A thought about wellness and goodness, and how the two are so connected. So I will answer inquiries about my health and then give an idea about how to further the wellness of us all.

How am I doing?

"Very well, thank you, how are you?" That's what my baby sister Teannka says every time someone inquires after her health. She's cute. As to how I am doing these days, the answer is similar. I'm doing well for the most part. I'm healing, but not in some huge puff of magical smoke. There are definite improvements, however, that are quite noticeable.


No, not all days are pink and red sparklies and hearts, but days are getting better. I'm getting better. I'm less sick, and more healthy, and more happy. I have more energy and strength. This is great news, isn't it? And I can only account it to God, since I'm not taking any medicine right now. I am going to the chiropractor, but I still give the praise and glory to God.

Andrew's grammatical faux pas made me think, though. I'm doing well, but am I doing good? When Jesus Christ healed the infirm man at the pool of Bethesda, he said unto him, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk" (John 5:8). And that man did exactly as his Lord commanded him. But do you think that maybe that man was walking somewhere? Just walking around is all very well and good for a stroll in the park, but it won't get you anywhere in life. You need a direction. I need a direction. Christ is the direction. But how to walk in that direction?

I see that once infirm man carrying his bed, going down the streets. He may have seen others who were in need, who lacked, who hurt, who suffered, who longed for relief. His hands full of bedding, and his heart full of gratitude, he must have wished to do something for those still languishing in pain in this world. Having been healed not long ago, I am sure that he desired to do as the Lord and to reach out to others. He desired to do good.

Doing good isn't just a nice intention to be put into effect when we have the time or inclination. "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from this world" (James 1:27). Doing good, serving others, is the manifestation of true religion in our lives. When we follow Jesus and his gospel, then our attitudes towards other people change. We are filled with more love, with more desire to lift, to assist, to help, and to reach out.

I fully intend to put my new found energy, wellness, and strength to good use. I fully believe that doing good and serving other people is the way to be happy. I believe that the more that I focus on lifting the burdens of others, the more that my burdens will be lifted. God gives no commandments unto the children of men without first preparing a way for them to accomplish that commandment (1 Nephi 3:7). Doing good is a commandment. God will help me to do it. I also believe that doing good for others will help me to become more self-reliant and even stronger. I will have to start out softly, but I will get stronger and have more endurance as I continue to work out my kinks and knots.

Walking towards Christ is walking towards life. Look to God and live. Christ spent his life reaching out to others who were suffering so much less than himself. He looked outwards and ministered. I want to be known as Jesus of Nazareth, my Savior and King. I want to be known as a person who "went about doing good" (Acts 10:38).

PS. For other posts about happiness, see How To Be A Blossoming Flower and How to Be Happy With Your Miserable Life.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Almost Murdered and Almost Murderer


Today was an interesting day in the life of Tashya. And by interesting, I definitely mean harrowing and life-threatening to the extreme! Or maybe there were two incidents that made today slightly less average than usual. But the manner of said incidents is what made them stand out. Both involved near death or maiming. Sorta. Or maybe you just had to be there. I'll see if I can recreate the scenes for you.

1. Almost Murdered

Have I ever told you that I love driving? If I did, I'm sorry. That was a lie. A downright dirty stinkin' lie. I'm generally a very honest person. I even announce when I'm about to cheat in a board game so that everyone knows in advance, so I doubt that I'd tell you as blatant a lie as me actually liking driving. I'm not a bad driver, I'm a safe driver. But loads of other people on the road tend to make nervous, especially if I'm the only one in the car.

Well, today I was out doing good in the world, and I was taught that Elphaba's song really is true: No good deed goes unpunished! I made some of my good brownies (and I mean, really good brownies. I really enjoy my brownies!) for a friend's Eagle Scout project thing, and took them over to his place to drop them off. I made it there alright, but on the way home, I really botched the job. I was trying to turn left onto a busy street from a side street, and it was kind of on a turn in the road. I waited a while, and then saw my chance. There was a small gap between loads of cars. I decided to take it!

I crept forward since no one was in the lanes going to the right, and prepared to gun it. The space came and opened before me exactly as planned! I gunned it exactly as planned! Only, I didn't. I missed the gas and hit the brake. Don't ask me how, I don't know. But by the time I got out into the lane and was going, the car was upon me, right on my bumper. And even though I was speeding up rather quickly, they did not slow down! I even went over the speed limit a little to try to get away from them, but that didn't work either! I was so glad to turn off that road into my apartment complex and leave the creepy tailer behind!

2. Almost Murderer

Andrew and I live in a gated apartment complex. We have little clicker remotes that open the three gates around the community. You don't need to click the button in order to get out, but if you don't click it, then you have to nose your car right up to the gate and then wait for it to open. It's faster if you use the clicker as you're approaching. Today my impatience with the gate almost maimed an innocent young woman.

Andrew, Teannka, and I were leaving to run some errands. Huzzah for the library! Hooray for mailing packages! Haloo for getting groceries! We got into the car, and started off towards the gate closest to us, which is around a sharp corner. I pulled my keys out in preparation for the clicking ceremony so I would be ready to speed our exodus from the apartment complex. When we turned the corner, we saw two people climbing over the fence to get out of the community. The guy had jumped down, but the girl was still crossing over the top. That fact registered about .5 seconds after I had clicked the button.

What had started as a button clicking ceremony to bring us out of the gate almost turned into a sacrificial ceremony offering up the girl's foot. Since her weight had been balanced on top of the gate, when it started to move, she fell forward. She didn't face plant because she caught herself on her hands, but her feet were still up in the air. It looked like an extremely showy push up that a guy could use to try to impress the ladies. Her foot got caught between the bars of the moving gate, and became lodged in the sliding gate as it continued to open. Fortunately, the good engineers who had designed the gate somehow incorporated magic into the machine so that it knew something was there, and it automatically closed again, releasing her foot.

Thank goodness that was over without anyone actually losing life and limb.

PS. I wrote this last Saturday. I'm not sure why it didn't go up. I am now busy with other posts, so I'm going to stop bothering with wondering if this post is quality or not, and just put it up. Have a nice day!